New Commissioners Introduced, Update Presented On Asian Carp

Thursday, March 30, 2017

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission held its March meeting that featured five new commissioners and the first meeting chaired by Jamie Woodson.

The one-day meeting was held at the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s Region II Ray Bell Building.

The new commissioners introduced were Angie Box (Jackson, TFWC District 8), Brian McLerran (Moss, District 3), Kent Woods (Kodak, District 2), Dennis Gardner (Lakeland, Statewide), and James Stroud (Dyersburg, Statewide).

Frank Fiss, Chief of Fisheries, presented an update on Asian carp that have invaded Tennessee’s waterways. Wild populations of black, grass, bighead, and silver carp have established populations in the Mississippi River, and grass, silver and bighead carp have already entered the Tennessee and Cumberland River systems.

Fiss said during his presentation that TWRA always reminds anglers that these invasive species should never be used as live bait, because this could spread them into additional waters. Control efforts are currently limited to commercial fishing. 

TWRA fisheries managers lack some critical information about the movements and population dynamics of these species, according to Fiss. TWRA recently secured federal funding and will be partnering with the Tennessee Tech University to conduct research needed to learn more about future control strategies beyond commercial fishing.

Mike Butler, chief executive officer of the Tennessee Wildlife Federation, presented a resolution approved by the federation’s board of directors. The resolution called for the TWRA to formulate a statewide strategic whitetail deer management plan.

The last strategic plan for whitetail deer has expired. The resurgence of whitetail deer is regarded as one of the state’s greatest conservation restoration stories.

David McKinney, of TWRA’s Environmental Services, gave a presentation on White Oak Wildlife Management Area. He spoke to the commission about the history of flooding in the area. He was followed by David Salyers of the West Tennessee River Basin Authority, who supplied scientific information.

Lynn Barrett, from the TWRA Geographic Information System (GIS), gave a demonstration on the new interactive WMA map for the hunting public. The map was developed by using existing Environmental System Research Institute (ESRI) software. Usage indicates the map has been viewed more than 46,000 times. GIS staff is currently working on information a new map for anglers and is always looking to improve and upgrade the existing WMA map.

 Chair Woodson announced that vice chair David Watson has resigned from the commission due to health reasons. He will be honored at a future TFWC meeting.

In a special election, Commissioner Jeff Cook was elected vice chair. An appointment will come in the future for Mr. Watson’s position in TFWC District 4, which includes 10 counties in the Chattanooga area.

The next meeting will be held Wednesday, April 26, at the TWRA Region II Building. 



2018 Application Period For Peregrine Falcon Trapping For Falconry Usage To Begin July 1

The 2018 application period for the trapping of a peregrine falcon to be used in falconry will begin July 1, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has announced. The number of permits to be allowed for the taking of peregrine falcons to be used in falconry has increased from one to five in 2018 as announced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The TWRA will award the ... (click for more)

Asian Carp Harvest Incentive Program Planned For Fall 2018

In an effort to combat to the invasive Asian carp species, a commercial harvest incentive program will be developed in the fall of 2018. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s request of $500,000 budget expansion from the Marine Fuel Tax Fund was approved at the May meeting of the Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission. This will provide two years of funding for the program. ... (click for more)

Former County Mayor, Deputy Governor Claude Ramsey Dies

Former County Mayor and Deputy Governor Claude Ramsey has died after a recent illness. Mr. Ramsey held a number of top government posts after leaving his strawberry farm at Harrison and going into politics. He was a major factor in the development of the Enterprise South Industrial Park and landing Volkswagen as its main tenant. He served in the state legislature and was ... (click for more)

Gerald McCormick Pulls Out Of House Race After Move To Nashville; Greg Martin, Tony Sanders, Robin Smith Eye Post

Former House Majority Leader Gerald McCormick has decided to pull out of the House District 26 race and take a position with an engineering firm in Nashville. Among the top contenders considering the post are County Commissioner Greg Martin, former county Republican Party Chairman Tony Sanders and former state GOP Chairman Robin Smith.  Rep. McCormick's wife, Kim, ... (click for more)

Will Chattanooga Miss Another Reinvestment Opportunity?

In April, First Tennessee Bank and the National Community Reinvestment Coalition announced an agreement on a $3.9 billion reinvestment plan for economic development in low to moderate income communities under the 1977 Community Reinvestment Act. The Chattanooga Times Free Press soon followed with an article reviewing the plan in depth. The plan presented Chattanooga, as well as ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Are We Like Nazis?

Four years after William Styron’s best-seller ‘Sophie’s Choice,’ had achieved the highest height of an atrocity that the literary world had known at the time, a little girl who was birthed the same year as the book (1979) was cast as Meryl Streep’s daughter in the movie. The four-year-old blonde knew nothing about evil, not to mention the Holocaust, but she became enamored with ... (click for more)